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Reviews with a Mug Brownie: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Published March 25, 2013 by Britt

Plot: When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and may finally win him the girl.

*enters in a shower of glitter* This book has kind of a funny story attached to it. I am TERRIBLE with my library books, and with that I mean that I’m really bad at turning them in on time and I stock up so many fines it’s insane. But I’m good now, and decided it’s time to go to the ebook version of the library if I do want to read them. I’m good on books for a while, you have no idea. I had checked this out from the library and tried really hard to read it but I just couldn’t get into it. So I had to return it when the fines got to be too much, and it rotted in Partially Read Hell for a while.

But as this book said, “Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”

Quotes like these are why I love John Green. One moment he’s talking about chicken nuggets, the next he’s making quotes like that.  John is one of the few authors who truly understand teenage emotions. It’s great.

Now, as for this book, it’s a cute concept. A creative and cute one. But I made the mistake of reading The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska before this one, and it lacked the depth that those two had. It certainly was nice to have my heart remain in my chest rather than brutally ripped out (I was sobbing at The Fault in Our Stars), so the lack of depth was kind of nice. Interesting characters, very good humor, a little bit of math. It’s good for the geek in all of us.

Other than that, it was a nice read. A quick read, and not as life changing as other books.

Four stars. Not life changing, still good.

Up Next: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

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Reviews with a Mug Brownie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Published March 17, 2013 by Britt

Plot Summary: A freshman named Charlie is always watching from the sidelines until two charismatic seniors take him under their wing. Beautiful, free-spirited Sam and her fearless stepbrother Patrick shepherd Charlie through new friendships, first love, burgeoning sexuality, bacchanalian parties, midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the quest for the perfect song.

*shows up 20 minutes late with Starbucks to this party* When this movie came out in theaters, I kept wanting to go see it but never could find someone to go with. It irked me severely, so finally I took a birthday giftcard from Target and bought it on DVD.

WORTH IT.

But ONLY worth it if you read the book before the movie. This is a movie where you have to read the book first or else you’ll be confused at the end, because they don’t really spell out what happened to Charlie at the end because what happened is sort of a trigger for some people. But the ending of the book confused me a bit too, to the point where I had to ask my friend AND re-read the ending to get it completely. People who had cried at the end of the book were bawling at the movie, and then there were the people who hadn’t read it yet and looked confused. I understood, but did not cry.

There’s a general saying in life that says “The Book is Always Better Than The Movie.” Yes, this is the case again. But at least this movie was better than usual because it was directed by the author himself. There’s a funny story about this with the guy who plays Patrick, Ezra Miller. He said he had read the book, and as soon as he heard that they were making a movie about it, he was peeved that someone would potentially ruin the book and demanded to know the director. Then… it was Steven Chbosky AKA the author. So that went well.

I liked how they finally named the siblings in this movie, because in the book they weren’t named. They were just “my sister” and “my brother.” It felt nice to know names.

Other than that, great soundtrack. I liked the colors of the film, great casting, and overall just a good movie.

Four stars.

Next up: Les Miserables

Reviews with a Mug Brownie: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Published March 15, 2013 by Britt

BEFORE I BEGIN: Did you guys miss me? Life + exhaustion + distractions gave me no motivation to update this, but now I shall! I have a long list of posts I have ideas for, and therefore I have motivation. There’s probably going to be a string of reviews in a row, each for movies and books, so there. Enjoy! I missed you all!

 

Plot Summary: I can’t find a good snippet here. ): Basically, Holden Caulfield has gotten kicked out of school again and doesn’t want to go home. So he wanders around New York City late at night instead.

Opinion time! Well, well, well… Holden Caulfield. Where to begin? General opinions on this book is that you love it or you hate it. I’m a Nerdfighter (for those that don’t know what that is, check out the vlogbrothers on Youtube. It’s John and Hank Green. Most people at school know John as the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska or That Guy From Crash Course. Close enough.) and they all say wonderful things about the book. So I expected to love it as much as they did. Also, my dad told me it’s called the serial killer book, because a lot of people who commit murders are in possession of it when they’re caught. I had an entire discussion about this with my Criminal Justice teacher.

Maybe I wasn’t reading it right, but it was sort of a letdown. I mean sure, it was interesting. And yes, Holden Caulfield had some deep thoughts. But the plot was him just wandering around New York. It was a straight plot, but the writing was almost like a Christmas Tree. Something would happen, and he’d think about it on a tangent, and then something else would happen, and he would go off on a tangent.

JD Salinger does have an interesting understanding of the teenage mind nowadays, which makes sense why it’s so popular with adolescents. Holden Caulfield is, let’s face it, a bit of a whiny b*tch. But the thing is, that’s what teenagers do. We whine, we rebel, we hate everyone and everything, we swear too much (I’m not even going to deny that I swear when I’m alone. I know my parents are reading this.), we think about sex. Holden Caulfield complains about everything ranging from his parents to the word “Grand” and how it’s all phony. That’s a common word in this story. “Phony.”

But we do think deep thoughts sometimes. We have the most existential crises ever and they’re over some of the smallest things. And he does have this giant existential crisis that really isn’t necessary, but after you get kicked out of school (this is just me guessing here), you probably don’t want to go home and tell your parents. I wouldn’t.

Also, when I first saw the book’s cover, I thought “Um, WTF is on the cover? Some Asian dragon horse thingy?” Well, yes and no. I discovered that it is a merry go round horse in front of the city. Go figure.

Overall, three stars out of five. Interesting, but not as great as it’s made out to be.

Next time on Reviews with a Mug Brownie (Book Edition): An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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